By George Bita
She sits uneasily at the edge of a metallic bed besides her three babies at the maternity ward in Dabani Hospital in Busia district.
Her restlessness coupled with her solemn facial expression speak volumes about her state of mind. For Annet Nasirumbi, 24, life completely changed when she gave birth to triplets on July 19.
Nasirumbi reveals that she was living at her parents’ home in Budibya village, Masafu sub-county when Aggrey Okoch, who works as a security guard in Kampala, convinced her to move in with him.
She already had three children from a previous relationship.
“He wooed me in September last year and took my children and I to his home in Buyunda, a neighbouring village,” she says.
All was well with the lovers and Nasirumbi eventually became pregnant. According to her friend, Francisca Ajambo, Nasirumbi started experiencing labour pains on July 19 and was rushed to Bulumbi health centre II.
“She gave birth to a baby boy, but the labour pains persisted. The midwives said they had failed to help her deliver the second baby, so Nasirumbi was referred to Dabani Hospital,” Ajambo says.
Nasirumbi narrates that when she got to Dabani Hospital, medical workers discovered that she was instead carrying two babies.
“Okoch was informed on phone about the babies, but he immediately cut off communication,” she adds.
Nasirumbi delivered two baby girls and a boy. However, what should have been a blessing for Nasirumbi and her husband has instead turned into a painful experience.
Ajambo claims that three is an odd number, which the residents associate with misfortune. She notes that this could be the reason Nasirumbi was abandoned by her husband.
“It is the talk of the village that triplets are a curse and should be avoided at all costs. People here believe a lot in superstitions, which dictate that even numbers like is the case with twins are a blessing,” Ajambo says.
Nasirumbi echoes Ajambo’s statement, saying some residents have been shunning the hospital over misconstrued fears about the triplets. She adds that ever since the triplets were born, neither Okoch nor his relatives have showed up at the hospital.
What Dabani Hospital says Dr. Ibrahim Dula, the medical superintendent, confirms that Nasirumbi was referred to the hospital from Bulumbi health centre II.
“The reason for referral was retained twin. However, when I examined Nasirumbi, I heard two foetal heartbeats.
Close analysis showed two babies intertwined in such a way that a caesarean section was the only way to save both the mother and the babies,” Dula says.
Since Nasirumbi’s husband was far away, Dula says he got his verbal consent. Nasirumbi then signed her own consent form to proceed with the surgical operation.
“Three days later we were ready to release her, but Okoch was noncommittal about picking up his wife.
His cellphone is unavailable most times,” Dula says.
He notes that the hospital waived Nasirumbi’s sh300,000 bill as she could not afford to clear it.
“As management, we want her to go back home and be able to sustain her family single-handedly. She cannot go now without any cash to buy necessities at home,” Dula argues.
Nasirumbi wants to go back to her parents’ home since her husband abandoned her.
Matthias Mangeni, the Busia community health officer, commends the Dabani Hospital administration for keeping Nasirumbi until her wellbeing at home is assured.
“The idea is to get a good Samaritan to look after her and ensure that the triplets and their mother live a better life.
The babies need to fed, immunised and clothed,” he says.
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